Bloomberg News

Kiwi Reaches Highest in Almost a Month as Building Permits Rise

August 30, 2011

Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s dollar touched the highest level in almost a month versus its U.S. counterpart as data showed building permits increased and before a report forecast to show Chinese manufacturing strengthened.

The South Pacific currency, nicknamed the kiwi, gained against all of its 16 most-traded peers tracked by Bloomberg after New Zealand’s home-building permits in July jumped the most since April 2008. The Australian dollar rose for a third day against the U.S. currency.

The building report “adds further evidence that the New Zealand economy is showing further resilience to the economic downturn globally,” said Mitul Kotecha, head of global currency strategy in Hong Kong at Credit Agricole CIB.

New Zealand’s dollar gained 0.8 percent to 85.32 U.S. cents at 11:30 a.m. in New York after earlier reaching 85.36, the highest since Aug. 4. It advanced 0.7 percent to 65.45 yen, from 65.02, and rose to as high as 65.63, the strongest since Aug. 8.

Australia’s dollar traded 0.2 percent stronger at $1.0679, from $1.0656. It touched $1.0686, also the highest level since Aug. 4. The Aussie was little changed at 81.92 yen, compared with 81.88 yesterday.

New Zealand’s statistics bureau said home-building permits increased 13 percent. Approvals are accelerating after dropping to a two-year low in February, when the country’s deadliest earthquake in eight decades struck the South Island city of Christchurch.

Australian Permits

In Australia, the number of permits granted to build or renovate houses and apartments rose 1 percent from June, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney. While the increase trailed the 2 percent rise forecast in a Bloomberg News survey, it was the first advance in four months.

Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 commodities touched its highest level since Aug. 3, rallying was much as 1.5 percent.

China’s manufacturing growth quickened to a reading of 51 in August from 50.7 the previous month, the Purchasing Managers’ Index due Sept. 1 is predicted to say, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. China is Australia’s largest trading partner and New Zealand’s second-biggest export market.

--Editors: Greg Storey, Dennis Fitzgerald

To contact the reporters on this story: Candice Zachariahs in Sydney at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net; Allison Bennett in New York at abennett23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave Liedtka at dliedtka@bloomberg.net


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